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The Fred in his head

Thoughts of Ebb flow through Kander

Fred Ebb may have passed away six years ago, but at Sunday’s opening night of the Kander & Ebb musical “The Scottsboro Boys,” John Kander kept “getting notes from Fred. Fred is around in my head a lot.”

The composer heard the late lyricist ask him, “Why didn’t you …?” or “Are you sure?” or “Do you think that’s funny?”

The “Chicago” duo also wrote a musical version of “The Skin of Our Teeth,” not yet seen. Says Kander, “We had originally scheduled it for London until Tappan-Wilder pulled the rights from us.”

Opening-nighters included Gabourey Sidibe and her “Precious” helmer, Lee Daniels, who’s already seen the tuner four times. “It’s a powerful memory about our African-American history. And it’s very reminiscent of ‘Chicago’ and ‘Cabaret,’ and that’s the brilliance of the piece,” opined Lee. – — Stephen Schaefer

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